CFPB Broadens Effort to Identify Small Business Financing Needs
05/12/17 – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has launched an inquiry into ways to gather and use new and existing information to identify the financing needs of small businesses, especially those owned by women and minorities.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires the CFPB to collect data about small business lending to help identify needs and opportunities in the market and to facilitate enforcement of fair lending laws.
Small businesses typically need access to credit to take advantage of growth opportunities, yet public information on this lending market is inconsistent and incomplete. Based on publicly available data, and depending on the definition used, there are an estimated 27.6 million small businesses in the United States. This includes 9.8 million businesses owned by women and 7.9 million businesses owned by minorities.
The CFPB’s Request for Information asks for public feedback to help the Bureau better understand how to bridge this information gap. The CFPB is exploring topics including:
- What defines a small business;
- What institutions lend to small businesses and what products are offered;
- What types of business lending information are used by financial institutions; and
- Privacy impact of the public release of small business lending data.
The CFPB is requesting comments from individual businesses, consumer groups, community development organizations, bank and nonbank lenders, regulators, and all other interested parties. The comment period for the public inquiry will end 60 days after the Request for Information is officially published in the Federal Register.